Friday, January 3, 2014

The Year in New Urbanists Lecturing Atlantans - 2013 Krier, Duany, Nygren, Speck, Mouzon

Some of  best "new urbanism" personalities spoke in Atlanta in last year.

While I don't want to argue about urbanist definitions, I will argue that urbanist lectures are lots of fun. The standard for urbanist lectures is high. All compete with Jane Jacobs' impossibly witty "The Death and Life of Great American Cities."

Leon Krier gave the first "Academy of Medicine Lecture" at Georgia Tech on January 23, 2013. I think Krier was a new urbanist before they coined the term. Quote: "Skyscrapers are vertical cul-de-sacs."

Leon Krier (left) had his quiver loaded with stinging criticism for lame planning. "It's not about style."

Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, spoke to the Midtown Alliance on March 28, 2013. Everybody dressed up. I do not know how I got the invitation but thanks.

This is the view from PWC conference room at 1075 Peachtree Street. Wow.

Here's Jeff. Maria Saporta wrote about it in the Saporta Report: "A more walkable Atlanta equals a healthier and more prosperous city."

The NAREE (National Association of Real Estate Editors) had a new urbanism panel at their annual meeting on June 7. David Bodamer moderated Steve Nygren, Andres Duany, and Jackie Doak. This was an entire day of ideas crammed into an hour and a half. Way too short.

Steve Nygren founded Serenbe on Atlanta's doorstep. Steve is the practice of the theory.

I doubt that Andres Duany has ever uttered an unquotable sentence. "Essentially there is no choice in the suburbs. Everybody has the same lifestyle ... everybody drives everywhere for everything."

Duany was not ready to stop when his time was up. He loves the dialogue and the argument, me too.

Thanks to Tony Wilbert who snuck me in as a journalist. Tony (follow him at @twilbert) is one of Atlanta's newsiest tweeters.

Steve Mouzon spoke to the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism on December 19. Steve's heart, soul, and energy levels are bigger than this. But he didn't talk about urbanism. He talked about his latest book: New Media for Designers + Builders and told the audience to turn their smartphones ON.

And there was some nice dessert at The Shed at Glenwood.

I'm keeping my eye out for new urbanism talkers in 2014. I'll let you know.

1 comment:

  1. Really appreciable!! I think urbanism is an application of sustainability and resilient principles to the design, planning, and administration/operation of cities? There are a range of organizations promoting and researching sustainable urbanism practices including governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, and professional enterprises around the world. Related to sustainable urbanism is the Ecocity movement which specifically is looking to make cities based on ecological principles. So this conference would definitely give a new light to the architectural organization……


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